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Independents' Day

10 reasons why consultations go wrong

1 Having the wrong notes or the wrong patient.

1 Having the wrong notes or the wrong patient.

2 Feeling so rushed that you jump to conclusions too quickly.

3 Talking too soon – the key for doctors is 'shut up and listen'.

4 Using closed questions – you will get much further if your questions are open.

5 Exhaustion, burnout and stress in the doctor.

6 Not giving yourself time after a difficult or traumatic consultation – sometimes when you get behind and feel stressed you need to slow down, not speed up.

7 Reacting aggressively when the patient seems aggressive.

8 Feeling that you have to have an answer.

9 Forgetting that patients are frequently frightened.

10 If you really don't know what the consultation is about, you haven't understood all of the patient's ideas, concerns or expectations.

Professor David Haslam is president of the RCGP

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